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Infection with Pneumonia or Sepsis Linked with Increased Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

The researchers hypothesize that inflammation caused by the illnesses is related to the increased risk. Severe illnesses often result in high levels of inflammation that persist after hospitalization. At this point, the relationship to cardiovascular disease is classified as casual because of the decreased risk over time. However, the conclusions of this study may lead to investigative research to determine ways to prevent sepsis and pneumonia, and combat those factors of the illnesses that increase vulnerability to cardiovascular disease.

“Our findings provide another reason to protect against infection and suggest that there is a post-infection window of increased cardiovascular disease risk. We did not study any interventions that could be initiated during this period, but preventative therapies such as statins could be investigated,” said Scott Montgomery, PhD, adjunct professor, director of clinical epidemiology at Örebro University in the press release on the study.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) preventive measures to avoid sepsis include: caring for wounds properly, practicing good hygiene, and following treatment plans from medical professionals following diagnosis with an illness. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) advises to avoid smoking, maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and receive all flu vaccinations to avoid pneumonia.
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